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Buddhism’s message of peace answer to terrorism, says PM Modi



Colombo, May 12 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his 2- days Sri Lanka said that Buddhism’s message of peace is the answer to the growing phenomenon of terrorism across the globe.

“The biggest challenge to sustainable world peace today may not be necessarily from conflict between the nation states,” Modi said in his address here as the chief guest at the UN-recognised 14th International Vesak Day meant to mark the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Lord Buddha.

“It is from the mindsets, thought streams, entities and instruments rooted in the idea of hate and violence,” he said.

The theme of this year’s International Vesak Day, being hosted by Sri Lanka for the first time, is Buddhist teachings for social justice and sustainable world peace.

The Indian Prime Minister said that the menace of terrorism in the region “is a concrete manifestation of this destructive emotion”.

“Sadly, these ideologies of hate and their proponents in our region are not open to dialogue and hence only open to causing death and destruction,” he said.

“I firmly believe that Buddhism’s message of peace is the answer to growing arc of violence all over the world.”

Modi hoped for not just a negative notion of peace defined by the absence of conflict, “but a positive peace where we all work to promote dialogue, harmony and justice, based on compassion and wisdom”.

Stating that the friendship between India and Sri Lanka was etched in time by Lord Buddha, he said that “Buddhism imparts an ever present radiance to our relationship”.

“As close neighbours, our relationship spreads across many layers. It draws its strength as much through our interconnected values of Buddhism as it does from the limitless possibilities of our shared future.”

The Indian Prime Minister also announced a new direct flight between Colombo and Varanasi, the place of Lord Buddha’s first sermon.

“This will ease travel to the land of Buddha for my brothers and sisters from Sri Lanka, and help you directly visit Sravasti, Kusinagar, Sankasa, Kaushambi and Sarnath,” he said.

“My Tamil brothers and sisters will also be able to visit Varanasi, the land of Kashi Viswanath.”

Stating that India was committed to the economic prosperity of Sri Lanka, Modi said: “We will continue to invest in driving positive change and economic growth to deepen our development cooperation.”

He also called for free flow of trade, investments, technology, and ideas between India and Sri Lanka for mutual benefit.

“India’s rapid growth can bring dividends for the entire region, especially in Sri Lanka. In infrastructure and connectivity, transport and energy, we are poised to scale up our cooperation,” Modi stated.

“Our development partnership stretches across nearly every sector of human activity such as agriculture, education, health, resettlement, transport, power, culture, water, shelter, sports, and human resources.”

He also mentioned that India’s development cooperation with Sri Lanka amounted to $2.6 billion.

“Its only aim is to support Sri Lanka in realising a peaceful, prosperous and secure future for its people,” Modi said. “Because, the economic and social wellbeing of the people of Sri Lanka is linked with that of 1.25 billion Indians.”

Modi arrived in Colombo on Thursday on a two-day visit at the invitation of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.

This is his second visit to the Indian Ocean island nation as Prime Minister after his visit in March 2015.



Israel opens probe into Facebook after data scandal



Cambridge Analytica data scandal

JERUSALEM: Israeli authorities said Thursday (Mar 22) they had launched an investigation into Facebook’s activities following a scandal over the hijacking of personal data from millions of the social network’s users.

Israel’s privacy protection agency “informed Facebook” of the probe after revelations over data transfers from the tech giant to consultant Cambridge Analytica, the agency said.

It said it was also looking into “the possibility of other infringements of the privacy law regarding Israelis”, it said in a statement released by the justice ministry.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper has reported that Israeli hackers offered material to Cambridge Analytica.

But an Israeli justice ministry spokeswoman said the probe did not involve hackers, focusing rather on whether Israeli users’ rights were violated.

Under Israel’s privacy law, personal data may only be used with consent and for the purpose for which it was handed over, the privacy protection agency said.


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Middle East

Loud explosion heard outside busy hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu

Explosion hits busy road outside popular hotel in central Mogadishu.



Somalia Car Bombing

MOGADISHU: 16 people killed and 20 injured in a bomb attack at the entrance of  Wehliye hotel in Mogadishu. Most of the casualties are auto rickshaw drivers and passengers, according to witnesses.

The death toll is expected to rise.

The attacked was claimed by al-Shabab, Reuters news agency reported, citing the armed group’s military operation spokesman.

Al-Shabab, which is fighting to overthrow Somalia’s internationally recognised government, is frequently carrying out attacks in and around the capital.

More to follow.

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Twitter’s chief information security officer quits




San Francisco, March 22: As tech companies reel under mounting pressure to prevent their platforms from data breach and fake news, Twitter’s Chief Information Security Officer Michael Coates has decided to quit.

In a tweet on Thursday, Coates who joined Twitter in 2015 announced his departure from the micro-blogging website.

“Twitter has been an amazing ride, but as I mentioned internally a few weeks back, my time is coming to an end. I’m confident to leave the program with an amazing security team,” Coates tweeted.

According to The Verge, Coates’ interim replacement is Joseph Camilleri, a senior manager for information security and risk.

Coates’ departure comes soon after reports surfaced that Facebook’s Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos is planning to leave the company by August.

Facebook is facing the heat after Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting company, was accused of harvesting data of up to 50 million Facebook users without permission and using the data to help politicians, including US President Donald Trump and the Brexit campaign.

Meanwhile, Michael Zalewski, Director of Information Security Engineering at Google, has also announced his departure from that company after 11 years.


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